As the expulsion of Palestinians continues, Canadians join Professor Ilan Pappe to mark “Nakba Day” on May 15th

The Etzl Museum on Jaffa beach commemorates the “Liberation of Jaffa”. According to the museum’s educational displays, under leader Menachem Begin (later Prime Minister of Israel), the Etzl militia forces started driving out Arabs on November 30, 1947, the day after the UN partition vote. By that vote, however, Jaffa was not supposed to be part of the new Jewish State at all. To this day, Israel continues to expel Palestinians from East Jerusalem. Canadian Voices for Palestinian Rights is organizing a webinar on May 15th with Israeli Professor Ilan Pappe to commemorate the Nakba Day…. Read more and sign up…

To address Al Nakba Day

Canadian Voices for Palestinian Rights invites you to a webinar:

The Ongoing Nakba: A disaster without Closure”

Speaker: Professor Ilan Pappe

Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 11:00 am Canada EST

Webinar registration link:

When did the Nakba really start?

May 15th, 1948 is the date on which the British Mandate ended and the victorious Zionist forces declared the State of Israel. Israelis know it as “Independance Day”, while the Palestinians commemorate it as the day of their great defeat or “Nakba Day“.

But the ethnic cleansing of Palestine actually started six months earlier – the day after the UN vote to partition the country. By the time Israel declared itself as a state over 400,000 Palestinians had already been driven out or had fled in fear. Neighbouring Arab countries intervened in an ineffective attempt to protect the Palestinians but another 350,000 were driven out before Israel signed “armistice agreements” which temporarily fixed Israel’s “borders”. By that time, over 3/4 million Palestinians had been displaced outside Israel’s new borders and another 30,000-40,000 displaced internally. Israel prevents all of them from returning to their homes, farms and businesses.

According to the UN Partition plan the seaport of Jaffa which was the largest Palestinian city, was to be part of the “Arab state”. But the Zionists saw Jaffa as a strategic position and captured it, turning its Palestinian residents into refugees.

The displacement of the Muslims and Christians in Palestine was no “accident” or “unintended consequence of war” as some have claimed. For the Zionists, who wanted to create a Jewish state in Palestine, it was a strategic imperative.

In 1947, Jews accounted for only about 1/3 of the population of Palestine. The creation of a Jewish state, in which the Jews would be the majority, required the expulsion of most of the Palestinians.

And when did the “Nakba” end?

The Nakba is not a date in the past. It is ongoing.

Since the massive expulsions of Palestinians in 1947/48, Israel has continued the ethnic cleansing of what was formerly Palestine, – mass expulsions under the cover of the 1956 Suez Crisis and the 1967 War, and ongoing in bits and pieces, mostly “under the radar’ of the western media.

In East Jerusalem, which Israel “annexed” in 1982, for example, demolitions of Palestinian houses have averaged one per week, according to Jeff Halper, Chairman of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The total exceeds 25000.

Current flashpoints are Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, two neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem where Palestinians have lived for decades (in some cases even centuries) but Jewish settlers are now moving in to take over houses. The settlers are backed by the Israeli military and police.

“The ongoing systematic abuse of Palestinian human rights has implications for the future of the region as a whole,” says Kathy Bergen of Canadian Voice for Palestinian Rights. “Recognition of the crime, assuring accountability and bringing moral, legal and political closure are the three preconditions without which there will be no peace and reconciliation in Israel and Palestine”.


Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

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  1. Yet our fearless leader announced this week he will boycott UN discussions on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians lest someone utter claims against that state that he or others can describe as “antisemitic” and then try to avoid any rational discussion.
    It would seem Trudeau is totally incapable of speaking of Palestine or Palestinian rights unless it’s through Netanyahu’s viewpoint.

  2. If a few Jews lived in the area of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan at some point, which since 1967 thousands of bogus reasons were used to evict tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, Than surely the Israeli Jews will agree that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who lost their home, (Which all were and war crimes) can claim their homes in West Bank, East and West Jerusalem and in Israel itself.

    1. Brillliant description of the Nakba and why ut must be recognized and respected including in terms of gaining a lasting solution to the israel Palestine conflict, whether in 2 equal states or 1 state of equals. Questions arise in this sense as to whether the Nakba, both in irs historical and ongoung context, should be recognized as a genocide. Those in the pro Israel lobby camp who actively deny or dissemble about the Nakba do not like being called the virtual equivalent of hokicaust deniers, but perhaps they are.
      The fact that Ilkan Pape has been rejected by the Israeli maibstream may make him the equivalent of a prophet and peacemaker whose analysis could contribure to a lasrting peaceful resokution to the current conflict.

  3. Thank you, CVPR, for organizing. Thank you, CTIP, for sharing the info. Prof. Pappe is an authority on this subject and his presentations are always engaging and informative. Look forward to it.

    I totally agree with Kathy’s assessment. History shows that reconciliation in a colonial-settler context can not happen without truth and acknowledgement. This is the first step towards healing and justice.

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